IRVING, Texas - The University of Dallas (UD) community is deeply saddened to learn that Ed Messbarger, the school's former men's basketball head coach, has died. He was 81.
A Missouri native, Coach Messbarger began his 41-year collegiate-coaching career at Benedictine Heights College in Tulsa, Okla. Over the span of three seasons (1957-60), he navigated the Ravens to a 60-41 record.
While at UD, as the second head coach in program history, he compiled a 24-52 clip in three seasons (1960-63) leading the Crusaders.
Tabbed as head coach of St. Mary's for the 1963-64 season, he directed the Rattlers in this campaign to their initial appearance in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Tournament.
St. Mary's qualified for the 1966-67 NAIA National Tournament, and garnered a fourth-place finish at the tournament in the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons. Coach Messbarger was named the 1973-74 Texas Major College Coach-of-the-Year and the 1974-75 NAIA National Coach-of-the-Year.
Under his watch, St. Mary's managed a 279-139 mark in 15 seasons (1963-78) and claimed 13 Big State Conference titles (1967-78).
Coach Messbarger was hired by Angelo State for the 1983-84 season. In his first year on the job, he was heralded as the 1983-84 LSC Coach-of-the-Year and guided the Rams to their first-ever Lone Star Conference (LSC) basketball title.
Angelo State secured consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament, as a result of being crowned LSC champions in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
The Rams went 267-286 in 20 seasons (1978-98), before Coach Messbarger announced his retirement.
He achieved 630 career victories, is currently third all-time on the NCAA Division II wins list, and is a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame (1990), Northwest Missouri State M Club Hall of Fame (1990), St. Mary's Hall of Fame (1991), LSC Hall of Honor (2006) and the Angelo State Hall of Honor (2011).
Coach Messbarger is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jane, as well as daughters Tisha, Monica and son Eddie, along with nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.